Archive for February, 2018

If you’re in the mood for comfort food, try this sausage and squash with farro, a form of wheat that is nutty and slightly chewy when cooked. Sauté the squash, toast the farro, add fresh sage and stock and then bake until the farro is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, cook the sausage. When the farro is ready, add the cream and half the cheese. Serve topped with the sausage, cheese and sage.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Imagine brand chicken stock, which is additive-free, and President’s Choice Free From sausages, which are preservative-free. Genuine Parmesan contains no additives or colour.

Farro is a type of wheat that is nutty and chewy when cooked

Sauté the squash

Toast the farro

Bake the squash and farro in stock

Cook the sausage on top of the stove until cooked through

Serve the farro topped with sausage, cheese and sage

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, divided

1 small butternut squash (about 2 lb/1 kg), peeled and cut into ¾-in/1.9 cm cubes (about 4 cups/ 1L)

2 cups (500 ml) farro

1 teaspoon (5 ml) chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish

4 cups (1 L) unsalted chicken stock

1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) reshly ground black pepper

½ pound (250 g) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

⅓ cup (75 ml) heavy cream

½ cup (125 ml/about 2 oz/57 g) grated Parmesan, divided

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 300ºF (150ºC).

Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil in a Dutch oven or wide, heavy pot with lid over medium-high. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and farro to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until farro is toasted, about 5 minutes. Add sage and cook 30 seconds more.

Return squash to pot; add stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to oven. Bake until farro is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

Remove farro from oven and stir in cream and half the cheese. Serve topped with sausage and remaining cheese; garnish with sage.

From Real Simple

This recipe from Kitchn tastes as good as it looks. Toss thinly sliced potatoes in garlic, salt and pepper and arrange them into overlapping rows to create four rectangles. Roast the potato “rafts” for a half hour, then top with the fish, butter, lemon, thyme and capers. Roast until the fish is cooked through and then serve. Healthy (about 330 calories per serving) and delicious!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a brand of butter than contains only cream and has no colour added. I use Unico capers, which are additive-free.

Arrange potato slices into rectangles and roast

Place fish, butter, lemon, capers and thyme on top of potatoes and cook until fish is done

The fish is flavoured by the butter, thyme, capers and lemon as it cooks

Lemon-herb sole on crispy potato rafts

Ingredients:

1½ pounds (680 g) russet potatoes (about 2 medium), unpeeled and scrubbed, sliced into ¼-inch-thick (0.64 cm) rounds

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced (roughly 1 tablespoon/15 ml)

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) kosher salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

4 skinless sole fillets or other firm white fish (5 ounces/142 g each and 1 to 1½ inches/2.5 cm to 3.8 cm thick)

4 tablespoons/60 ml unsalted butter

1 lemon, thinly sliced

8 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tablespoons (30 ml) capers, drained

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper until thoroughly coated.

Assemble 4 potato rafts by overlapping potato slices on the prepared pan in rectangular mounds. Each raft should consist of 3 or 4 shingled rows and be roughly 4 x 6 inches (10 x 15 cm); use 3 or 4 slices of potato per row.

Roast the potatoes, rotating the pan halfway through, until golden brown and beginning to crisp, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

Blot the fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Place one, skin-side down, centered on top of each potato raft. Top each piece of fish with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter, 2 lemon slices, and 2 sprigs thyme. Scatter the capers atop the fish and around the pan.

Return the pan to the oven and roast until the fish is flaky and opaque, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the potato rafts and accompanying fillets to individual plates, ideally with a big spatula. Serve hot. Serves 4.

From Kitchn

I received a subscription to the New York Times cooking website for my birthday and I’m enjoying its many offerings, including this dish of rice noodles topped with spicy pork and herbs. Cook the noodles, drain and rinse, make the dressing and cook the pork, aromatics and vegetables. To serve, top the noodles with the dressing, pork vegetables, herbs, nuts and radishes. If you can’t find black vinegar, use balsamic instead. Instead of chile oil, I used canola and addes some hot pepper flakes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Marukan rice vinegar, a balsamic vinegar with no sulfites added and tamari instead of soy sauce.

Cook rice noodles, rinse in cold water and drain

Prepare herbs, nuts and radishes

Prepare dressing

Cook the ground pork

Rice Noodles with Spicy Pork and Herbs

Ingredients:

1 pound (454 g) thin, round rice noodles

2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce

1 tablespoon (15 ml) black vinegar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chile oil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) canola or other neutral oil

½ pound (227 g) ground pork

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger, chopped

2 scallions, light parts chopped, green parts reserved for garnish

1 tablespoon (15 ml) yacai (Sichuan preserved vegetables, optional)

Handful of herbs like mint, basil and cilantro leaves, washed

¼ cup (60 ml) salted, roasted peanuts, chopped

4 radishes, sliced (optional)

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook noodles according to instructions. Drain noodles while running under cold water, until they are cool to the touch. Set aside. Mix dressing by whisking rice vinegar, soy sauce, black vinegar, chile oil and sugar until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Cook the pork topping: Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat, and add ground pork and salt. Pan-fry, breaking meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no pink parts and no liquid remain in the pan, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and scallion whites, and stir occasionally until the raw smell has disappeared and the meat is starting to brown in places, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables, if using, along with a tablespoon of water, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes more, or until mixture is darkened and thick. Set aside.

When you’re ready to serve, divide cool, drained noodles into four individual bowls, and top each with a tablespoon of vinegar dressing followed by a pile of ground pork, herbs, peanuts and radishes, to taste. Serve with any remaining garnish, and additional chile oil and chile-oil solids, on the side. Serves 4.

From the New York Times